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City Hall and County Courthouse

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City Hall and County Courthouse


Structure in General

high-rise building
existing [completed]
applied masonry
light brown
art deco
active heating (unspecified)
yes, centrally controlled


governmental office city hall court house


  • The tower rises boldly from a one- and two-story base set-back in the form of a plain shaft with slab-like masses attached to each face and crowned by two smaller set-backs.
  • The most striking unit of the City Hall is the War Memorial Concourse, known to many as the Fourth Street lobby. It is 85 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 41 feet high. This lobby is illuminated by concealed lights in the buttresses, has a light marble foor, wall and piers of blue Belgian marble (almost black in appearance), and a gold mirror ceiling.
  • Featured in this building are works by noted artists Lee Lawrie, John Norton, Albert Stewart, and Carl Milles - whose controversial Peace Memorial Statue, "Vision of Peace," in the War Memorial Concourse is considered to be the world's largest onyx carving as well as the artist's finest work.
  • The "Vision of Peace" carving weighs 60 tons (120,000 pounds) and rotates 66 degrees each direction, taking 2 1/2 hours to complete each cycle.
  • Carl Milles also designed a prominent fountain in front of St. Louis Union Station in St. Louis.
  • Information viewable inside the building indicates that Holabird & Root were the project architects, but the original blueprints indicate that it was Holabird & Roche.
  • Planned before and built during the Great Depression, the budget remained fixed. As the cost of materials and labor dropped, the gap was filled by spending more money on luxurious stone.
  • The building is an excellent example of the art moderne style applied to municipal buildings in the United States. The Minneapolis City Hall just a few miles to the west is an excellent example of the romanesque style, typically employed just a couple of decades earlier.
  • This building is connected to the City Hall Annex by a tunnel running underneath and a skyway bridging West 4th Street.
  • Wold Architects & Engineers and Architectural Alliance were the architects for a 1993 renovation and addition of a one-level annex to the north side of the building.
  • The woods used in the interior came from every continent except Antarctica, plus the Hawaiian Islands and Cuba.
  • The sculptor Lee Lawrie designed the relief elements flanking each entrance. He did similar work at New York's Rockefeller Center.
  • Memorial Hall contains the names of Ramsey County's war dead inscribed in black marble on pillars along the sides.
  • The northern stairwell has a bust of Jose Marti which bears the inscription "The Great Liberator of the Republic of Cuba".
  • The Marti statue plaque reads further: "Presented to the City of Saint Paul, the home city of United States ambassador Robert Butler by the Republic of Cuba in appreciation of his courageous work in creating a warm feeling between our two countries.".
  • The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

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More Information


1-33 West Kellogg Boulevard
2-34 West 4th Street
301-331 Wabasha Street, 300-330 St. Peter Street
15 West Kellogg Boulevard
St. Paul

Technical Data

261.08 ft
261.08 ft
261.08 ft

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
  • National landmark
  • Atrium is present
  • Pedway access is available
  • Skybridge link to next building
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